Knowledge Centre Jewellery Making Design

We have assembled an assortment of questions we have been asked on the subject of jewellery design.

Dear Beadaddict,

Is it possible to knot beadalon 49 0.018 as shown in your brilliant <' hints & tips ' section>? If so, which of the Karen Hill Tribe silver beads would you recommend to cover the knot and crimps? Also, how many crimps should be used on an item of jewellery containing your liquid silver drops and gemstones as they are a fairly heavy combination? Many thanks for your help - assuming you can advise!

Regards, Margaret

Dear Margaret

If you are going to be stringing exceptionally heavy items, I would probably start with the heaviest Beadalon - the 0.024" (or you could use two strands of the lighter 0.018" Beadalon together but it may be difficult to get through the crimps). i assume you are using tube crimps rather than the round sort. Its very difficult for me to estimate how many crimps you will need on a piece of jewellery without actually seeing the item, though it is possible to knot even the largest diameter of Beadalon, and if you knot and crimp and perhaps even use some glue then hopefully your work will hold - when I make a heavy piece I sometimes string backwards through the piece again and put a knot in between each bead just for extra security (a bit like pearl stringing). On the other hand, have you considered wiring the items separately with sterling silver wire? This would definitely ensure your piece holds. As for what bead would cover the knot and crimp - we do not have any specific ones in the Karen Silver section that will do this job (though I am sure you could find something that might do it) but we do have crimp covers (STF-154) in the findings section that will do this job.
I hope this helps

Kind regards Stephanie

Hi Stephanie/Mark

This is a bit of a long shot but I'd be grateful if you'd bear with me. I've just started my interest in beading and at this very basic level would like to help out at my youngest child's summer fete (Woodheys school) in an attempt to raise school funds. I imagined that I'd buy a selection of beads that would mostly appeal to children and then show them how to string these on stretch elastic thread & make bracelets/necklaces themselves (a short respite for their parents maybe!) Anyway, I know this is probably very downmarket for you guys but I also thought that I could perhaps show the older ones how to thread bracelets on memory wire - that is, if I knew how to do it myself! I wondered if you would be willing to show/sell me the equipment to enable me to do this and whether you think this would be a sensible idea with children. I live and work in Sale, so am very flexible if you were prepared to spend any time showing me your craft. If not, thanks for your time and consideration in reading my e-mail.

With kind regards. Julie

Dear Julie

Many thanks for your e-mail, it was nice to hear from you. Unfortunately at present I am unable to offer tuition - I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and am currently undergoing some aggressive therapy that means its important I am isolated as much as possible - sorry to not be able to help. I think my best advice would be in terms of low cost beads for you to visit Hobbycraft in Stockport - on their first floor they have a selection of plastic and wooden beads and plated findings that would be suitable for children rather than using Swarovski crystal or something similar, and alongside some stretchy 'Stretch Magic' and maybe even some rocailles (seed beads) the children would be able to produce something fairly good - in the past I have given lots of children similar things and they have been happy, happy with them. Once you knot the 'stretch magic' place a dot of glue on the knot to ensure it stays put. With Memory Wire, its imperative that you don't give this to small children to cut - you will need a special pair of 'Memory Wire Cutters' as these are an exceptionally tough cutter, the only type that will get through this wire. You simply snip off three or four or five coils. Next, you need a pair of round nose pliers and you roll a loop in one end - this ensures that you have an end where nothing will fall off once you start threading your beads on (it takes considerable force to make an effective loop, but once you have done it a couple of times it is really easy) - again I would suggest you use rocailles, perhaps some Czech glass to fill up the stringing of the memory wire. The reason you don't want young children using memory wire is because it is so springy, so strong and the ends so sharp that it is inevitable that someone is going to cut themselves, poke themselves or poke an eye out with the stuff. Always ensure an adult or older child cuts the wire and makes the first loop at the holding end. Once the wire is filled up - and you'll be surprised how many beads you might need - then you make another loop at the other end to secure the bracelet. One way of spacing out the beads in a cost effective way is to use rubber tubing - we sell that under our sundries section on the site. I am very sorry to not be able to help you face to face as I was in your school recently for polling and thought it was lovely - but I hope the above will help, and if you need further help, please just ask.

Kind regards Stephanie

Hello Stephanie

Firstly thanks for your excellent and quick service! I live for some of my time in France so using the Internet is invaluable. Your website is brilliant and loads very quickly even though I don't have Broadband! I recently ordered a Karen Silver Petal Shaped Bead Cap (KA-143) but wonder if you could suggest a pendant/ bead/crystal of a size that would fit?

Thanks Diana

Hello Diana

Many thanks for your e-mail, sorry it has taken me a few days to get back to you but I have been experimenting a bit with the petalled bead-cap. My first idea is that you could string a whole load of tiny beads on wire or flexible wire and then thread these through a wire loop inside the petal so it looks like the stamens of a flower cascading downwards. I have also been experimenting with beads and found that it is possible to move the 'petals' of the beadcap to fit larger beads - I tried with a 10mm bead and with a bit of wiggling - it worked. So -- Murano glass beads of that size perhaps? Also we are in the process of ordering some Swarovski in larger sizes. Karen silver, with having such a high content of silver, is relatively soft, so you will find you will be able to (gently) work it outwards. Hope this helps.

Happy Beading! Kindest regards Stephanie

Hi there,

I'm a novice at making jewellery and have made a bit of a mess of my recent order. I'm trying to create a heart shaped swaroski pendant threaded on coloured leather or braid or something - like the ones on the Swarovski website. I ordered a heart from your website and some different coloured suede thread not realising that the hole wouldn't be big enough to thread the leather through! I don't want to put it on a hook - is there a thread that will fit? I'd like to be able to order different colours so I can change them easily to match my outfit so it needs to thread easily. Failing that - do you know anyone who could drill the hole bigger for me?!!
Thanks in advance for your assistance with this.

Kind regards Susanna

Dear Susanna. The items you find in the Swarovski shops (and swarovski online) are not available elsewhere, ie they are exclusive to their own outlets, they do not sell them to distributors such as ourselves. So the heart you have seen is not available from any bead supplier. The hearts available to us are different and indeed have a much smaller hole. If you are using a thick string, then you need to make a loop/ bail to hang onto. The hole cannot be drilled without damaging the crystal. We do sell the large hearts with bails attached, although we normally do not sell the bails separately, if you order from us again we can add one to your order. Regards, Mark

Dear Sir or Madam,

Could you please tell me if the Murano glass beads you sell are already drilled in particular the Murano Rose/ Ruby Gold Aventurine Satin Spangle Bead. If they aren't already drilled could you please tell where I can purchase the tool to drill the holes as I am new to this.

Many thanks, Louise

Dear Louise,

All the beads on our site are drilled. The Murano glass beads are made with holes as part of the bead making process. The only exception to this rule is where we sell pendants with loops.

Regards, Mark

Hi, I was looking at the Toho kits and I would be grateful if you could tell me what the metal parts are made from. Is there nickel in them?

Kind Regards, Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

The Kits do not state the material content. Since these kits are made in Japan, it is unlikely that Nickel would be used, you can read more at their website

Regards, Mark

Hi I am looking for a set of cord ends and a clasp to finish a necklace made of thin fishing line. I was wondering whether your "Sterling Silver Cord End Findings Kit" would be a suitable size, or if 2mm is too big. Have you used fishing line with these fixings before please?

Many thanks Natalie

Dear Natalie, T

he cord end kit is unsuitable for your application - the cord ends are much too large. WE do have smaller ends, but these require crimping, but fishing line will break if crimped so you need an ending that you can tie onto - perhaps a simple loop may be a better solution.

Regards, Mark

What glue do I use please to attach the rubber cord into a silver plated end tip please? Tried GS HYpo Cement but it wasn't strong enough.

Thanks Debs

Dear Debs, T

he rubber cord glues perfectly using superglue.

Regards, Mark

Looking for beads and silver findings that are 3MM diameter center hole or that can fit on 3MM rubber cording.

Thank you so much, Barb.

I regret our beads and finding are intended for fine wire work. We only stock a very few large hole beads.

Regards, Mark

I am looking for something to use with my bungle beads. I would like to weave them or use a tiny needle to hand sew them. I am looking for the right kind of waxed cotton to do this with do you have anything that would string bungle beads that is small enough. Thank you for your time


Dear Louise,

I assume these are what we would know as bugle beads. Ours have holes of approx 0.8mm so most of our threads and wires will pass, however we do not sell waxed cotton. Have you looked at our stinging tips section?

Regards, Mark

Hi Stephanie Just ordered another 50 x SWA 383. I want to make my Nefertiti necklace for the Bead Workers Guild Exhibit so I now need 300 x 4mm Swarovski crystals in another turquoise that goes with 383. Can you help? I will need them as soon as you can possibly manage so I shall put myself and my Nefertiti necklace in your capable hands!!!

Regards Dee

Hi Dee A

re you looking for a contrast or another blue or a gold? As you know, the turquoise Swarovski is the only one in the range so I am not sure what to do here - please let me know - there is of course the plain Turquoise but we only do these in 5mm - the 4mm AB ones are on order, or if you are after plain turquoise 4mm's we could put those on order but with Swarovski we are never sure when we might receive them. Let me know what you would like to do, look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards Stephanie

I'm new to bead/jewellery making so I need some advice please. I'm planning on making a fully covered pearl necklace (approx. 16" in length) + bracelet and small drop earrings to match for a christmas present for my mum.

The pearls I'm thinking of using are: FW-211 FW-103 FW-159 and FW-154 Questions: As colours are difficult to determine on screen, do you think these sound like a good colour combination? Which size Beadalon Professional 49 strand do I need for the pearl hole size? My mum is allergic to metals other than gold so findings etc need to be gold (or I assume gold filled is ok?), so with the earrings would the vemeil stud fittings (VM-60) and the 9ct gold headpin (GOL-2) work together? The other bits I thought I would need are: GOL-7 gold crimp beads 2 x GOL-10 7mm 9ct gold bolt ring clasps GF-2 gold filled crimp tubes GF-15 gold filled crimp covers VM-60 pair vemeil stud fittings GOL-2 pair 9ct gold 1.25" headpin SU-186 crimping pliers SU-184 3-in-1 combination pliers SU-183 side cutter pliers SU-16 beading needles Before I place an order is there anything else that you can think of that I'm missing or likely to need?
Thanks in advance for the advice and apologies for the no doubt silly questions.


Dear Sue

I have had a look at the pearls together and the range of tones seem fine - I guess from your choices here you are looking for different sizes, colours and shapes here so they look fine together. You could use either .15 or .18 Beadalon to string your pearls, the .15 is slightly thinner than the .18 and normally I would choose .18 as its the strongest one you will get through the holes in the pearls - you will not need beading needles to string, the thread itself is stiff enough jus to string the pearls straight onto it. I think the only thing you may be missing would be rings for the other end of the necklace - you could either use Jumprings (GOL-3 or GOL-4) or you could use Vermeil closed soldered jumprings (VM-49) - I would myself probably choose the latter option, as jumprings have an unsoldered seam in them which stringing can work its way through unless the ring is closed very very tightly. Looking at the list, I cannot see anything there other than these two items above which you might want to consider. I hope this helps

Kindest regards Stephanie

Hi, would you kindly let me know whether product SWA329 and SWA379 are of same colour so that I can make a set? I am asking because they look a bit different on the website.

Thanks. Agni

Dear Agni,  

Both are the same light topaz, but the smaller hearts have an AB (aura borealis) coating on 1 side which not only gives the multi-coloured reflection, but also tends to affect the colour since the hearts is not as transparent as the non coated.

  Regards,   Mark

Hi Stephanie

Please can you tell me which s/silver crimps you use to secure beads in specific places on the foxtail chain, and what sort of crimping tool you use. I have looked at your example pieces to show beads and findings - the crimps on the pink earings look unusual, or are the beads? I am having problems with crimps/tool cutting through the chain. it might be my magic crimpers! how else can I get a professional finnish? Also. could you put some crimps in with the order that i am placing this am and just re-charge my card. Very important I am ordering foxtail and require the original. thankyou for your help


Hello Yvette  

I have tried to call a number of times but keep getting an engaged tone on your line.   The end crimps with a loop are the right ones that you are using - I merely use a pair of flat nosed pliers to close the crimp which is located in the centre of the tube - that is the collapsible part, the other two parts - top and bottom, are not collapsible and will not crimp, but I would not advise using conventional crimpers to try and close that crimp, just a pair of pliers will do the job - I have not had any problems with cutting through the chain - I think this might happen if too much pressure was put on the crimp and chain.     As for Saturday delivery, yes, this is possible - I notice you have chosen overseas, so to upgrade to special is another £1.00 - to guarantee it for Saturday, the post office charge another £2.00 - do you want me to recharge this to your card?   We can either mail out today or tomorrow for Saturday delivery, though probably the sooner the better.   Hope to hear from you soon

Kind regards Stephanie

Hi, I was looking at the gorgeous photos in your gallery and wondered if you took them with an ordinary digital camera and if you can give me any tips?  I've tried so many times to get light, professional looking photos and mine always come out too dark!  Would be really grateful if you can tell me which settings you used to get this effect.  

Many thanks Nancy  

Dear Nancy,  

Yes an ordinary autofocus camera is used, You can get the result from any (cheap) camera - it's the lighting that is important, it makes all the difference. You need a daylight/ colour balanced lighting system and light box. Look for these on Ebay. You then just need to adjust the exposure (EV level) to make sure that the picture is not too dark.  

Regards,   Mark  

Could you please advise me as to whether the STS Fine Chain (STF-241) would be at all suitable for hanging an 18/22 mm Murano Heart off.  I would like to fix Swarovski Crystals on the chain but have a heart hanging off the centre (please see rough sketch attached).  Would the Murano be too heavy for this chain?   Also will be ordering 2 Alexandrite Murano 20 mm hearts from you soon but wondered whether it would be possible for you to select two pretty ones ie nice shape, colour and smooth texture to the surface that would be as similar to one another as possible?  I am making up necklaces with these for bridesmaids and therefore want to have particularly nice examples.  

Many thanks

Dear Sarah  

I have hung Murano glass off the fine chain - all you would need to do is make sure there is a stopper bead underneath it to ensure it does not move around - I could not see your sketch for some reason, so hopefully we are on the same track here.   I am not sure if you have already placed your order for your alexandrite hearts, but we will certainly do our best for you.   K

ind regards Stephanie  

Hi, I discovered your website this morning, quite by chance, and have got nothing done since! There are lots of lovely beads and findings and the photos of jewellery you have made with the beads very helpful. Would it be possible to have a wish list set up as I kept getting lost! Really looking forward to receiving my first order, first of many I suspect! Can you suggest which beadcap to use with the Murano glass hearts please? I've done a lot of jewellery making with pearls and love the ideas of incorporating beads.

Many thanks, Pam

Dear Pam,  

Lovely to hear from you, thank you for your kind words and also thanks so much for your order.   I've taken a look at the beadcaps we currently have, and looking at what you have ordered would suggest the following   20mm hearts - STB-137 or STB-138   14-16mm hearts - STB - 176 or just use a round-ball headpin, you do not necessarily need to use a beadcap, just a headpin with a large enough end to cover the hole.   Hope this helps, and that you have a lovely time making your jewellery.  

Kind regards Stephanie


I would like to buy just a few beads to make a light pull for the bathroom. I was thinking of large irregular glass beads around the size of a walnut and smaller. Possibly even a long cylindrical shape amongst them. Do you have anything like this and do you supply to individuals?  

Kind regards, Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,   We do have a very few large beads - you will see them listed in the murano section of the site.   We supply to anyone who wishes to buy from us!   Regards,   Mark

Hello Stephanie  

I want to order some beads from you to make ear rings.  I realise that hand made beads are all individual and vary, but if I order twos in order to make ear rings will you be able to supply pairs which are suitably alike?  How do I indicate this on my order?  

Many thanks    Jean  

Hello Jean,  

You have not indicated which bead types they are - we cannot match all types, but if you let us know we can do our best. There is a space in the shopping cart to let us know your comments along with the order.  

Regards,   Mark  

Hi I love your site which I have just found.   Could you please advise me which tools I might need to buy first as a beginner.   To begin I would like to make bag and phone dangly things so I am interested in clasps, wire to hang bead/stones on and the bit that goes on the end. I also do machine knitting ( no interest to you) but I use 6 mm barrel beads ( ones with largish holes) for that so would like to keep to the same size. Do you sell those or similar? I would also like to make pins for shawls which are a round ring with a pin that goes in and out through the ring and shawl. Have you any suggestions for making the pin?   I live in Spain and return on the 13th Sept so I would like to be able take it home with me if possible to avoid extra postage.  

Many regards   Jillian  

        Dear Jillian  

Thank you very much for your e-mail Yes, we stock phone charm findings --- these are to be found in our Sundries section under number SU-145 and SU-193 and these are £2.00 for 10; you have a choice of silver-tone or gold-tone; to attach your beads to the charm, you will need headpins, and I would suggest that plated metal ones would be just fine for these and these are PF-7 OR PF-10 depending on the metal colour you are after - you won't need a clasp, because the cord end passes through the zipper or hole in the phone and when looped back round, is what holds your charm onto your bag or phone or whatever; then you will just need to add beads and/or charms.....and of course on that one, over to you - if you do take a look at the site, there are some worked examples photographed when you click on the picture of the phone charm findings themselves.  

As for tools...again, we do a basic range of tools - you will need something to cut your metal, something to make a loop and something to hang on - three pairs of pliers - we also do a three-in-one type plier, or you could do what I did when I first started and raided my husband's tool stash whilst you are deciding whether it is worth investing in tools.   If you need help with techniques, please take a look at our Hints and Tips sections on the site.   We do struggle to source beads with large holes, and in fact apart from a few sterling silver beads are not currently carrying any - sorry not to be able to help on this one.  

As for the pins, yes, I have seen hand-made pins which have been hammered and forged, and it is possible to make your own with sheet metal and wire though this is more of a silversmithing area and this of course is not the focus of BeadAddict --- I am unaware of any that are ready-made as all the examples I have ever seen have been worked by hand by a metalsmith - I took a smithing course at my local college, though I am not sure if that is an option available to you in Spain - its a relatively easy exercise, but making anything like this by hand is very time consuming; I hope you will have a go at making your own at some point as working with metal sheet is interesting and rewarding (though I decided not to pursue it because I did not like the nasty scary flames in the workshop!!!)  

Postage to Europe is £4.50 (I think - though Mark deals with this area, so please do forgive me if I am incorrect here), or free if your order totals over £100.   Hope this helps

Kind regards     Stephanie  

I love your trailing beads on the cursor.... Please could you recommend something I can use to string - thread - the glass pendants my daughter is making.  They are made from the bits' that are left from  panel designs that she is making in fused glass.  The hole is made from curling over a top section, and I have been threading - silver coated wire and attaching a clasp on ( learning as I go with crimping beads, tiny beads etc) and thonging - But the simplest way to fix the thonging is to have a large holed bead and thread the two ends thro and knot them - using the bead as a slider... I am having trouble finding the plain large beads colours are Blue /green  :  pale blue / green : purple / dark blue...   sea blue... etc. Can you help please... many thanks


Dear Joan  

Thank you for your e-mail - we only have a few beads with large holes - we have a large Swarovski crystal copper coloured bead, you can find some handmade beads with large holes in that section, and some of the dichroic beads we stock have large holes as well.   Hope this helps

Kind regards Stephanie  

Dear Stephanie,    

Can I pick your brain?  What is best to use with the lobster clasps you  have on your website.  Would a split ring be the best or a soldered jump  ring?    Many thanks, I love your website.    

Regards  Catherine  

Dear Catherine

I use split rings on both sides of my lobster clasps - or just about any clasp I use, come to that --- this is because its easy to get the clasp onto it, and on the other side, I usually add an extender chain with some dangles - if you would like to see what I am talking about, please see my jewellery website,   I hope the above makes sense.

Kind regards     Stephanie  


 I hope you can offer me some advice!  I have some (5) beautiful glass  beads on a leather thread which is approx 2-3mm in diameter.  I would like to  add some additional beads to the necklace but don't have the equipment or  skills to make something new.  I am therefore looking for some beads with a suitable hole diameter that they will fit onto the thread.  I have looked and looked on many bead websites and really like some of the dichroic  beads and Murano glass beads and Karen silver beads on your site.  Can you  advise me as to the bead hole size of the following so that I can workout if I  can get them onto my necklace.  Many thanks    KA290, KA245, MU647, MU417, MU49, MU862, MU587, DI10, DI550, DI564    If none of these seem suitable - can you suggest another solution?  

 Thanks    Jo  

Dear Jo,  

Most of our beads have small holes suitable for wiring rather than threading onto cords.   All the Murano beads have holes of 1 - 1.5mm, so would not be suitable.   KA-290 is 1.5mm, KA-245 is 2mm. The large dichroic beads all have holes 2-2.5mm, but the smaller (KA-264) are 1.5mm.   You may wish to also consider the handmade beads HMB-63 to HMB70 which all have holes 2-2.5mm.  

Regards,   Mark  


I have a couple of lariats [which I bought] which use a bead to bring the  ends together mid way down.     I have always assumed that the bead is  hematite but I could be wrong as have looked at a couple of websites none of which mention it being magnetic.    I would like to make some myself  now.     Can you let me know whether my assumption is right and whether  HE-2 is suitable for this purpose.    many thanks    


Dear Carol  

It is true that some Hematite/Hematine (Hematine is the man-made version of Hematite but basically identical) is magnetic.....but unless stated, ours is not.  I am not sure what turns it into magnetic hematite/hematine and why some is not, but it is possible to get both varieties - and they are the same thing.  Confused??   I hope the above helps - HE-2 is NOT magnetic.  

Kindest regards Stephanie  

Hi Stephanie,  

I have bought a few beautiful Murano beads from you as well as a number  of less expensive ones and am beginning to understand why you call your  site 'Bean Addict'.Your colour combining suggestions that you included  with your semi precious beads was very helpful but I wondered if you could  suggest a good comination for Amber/Tiger's eye/Toetoiseshell as I seem to  have a huge number of beads this colour?Also,I have been  searching(unsuccessfully) for unusual silver/gold plated metal beads.I  want to avoid the bright metals and wondered if you had any suggestions?  

Many thanks.    regards  Joan  

Dear Joan  

Thank you for your e-mail, it was nice to hear from you.   Good combinations for the stones you are asking about are perhaps cream and black - I have combined both successfully with tigers eye and amber - for instance, mother of pearl and black onyx.   We don't really do much in the way of plated findings and we don't carry any beads at all - I am unsure as to where you might source these, other than to suggest somewhere like Hobbycraft.   As to your other question regarding Czech glass versus Swarovski crystal - other than the price, yes there is a huge difference - in cut, in colour, in quality; its perhaps the difference between a Waterford Crystal vase and something made from recycled glass!!.   Kind regards Stephanie  

  Dear Stephanie

I wonder if you can help me.Books never give the information you need nor for some reason can you every find out what you want to know  on the whole of the web!!   I would love to know the correct technique for wiring drop beads/briolettes/leaves etc  which have the two holes horizontal at the top.This would be for putting on earrings and also hanging on charm bracelets (with or without a ring).  No matter how I try I just cant seem to get this to look good and professional so miss out on using lots of lovely bits. If you could point me in the direction of step by step illustrated instructions that would be wonderful. If I was to use sterling silver beading wire which guage eg 18ge soft or hard wire? In addition is it ok to make bead bracelets on wire instead of the softflex and if so what would I need to be buying - I work in sterling silver.   Any help would be much appreciated.

Best wishes, Wendy  

Dear Wendy   T

hanks for your e-mail, nice to hear from you.   If you take a look at the website, under the Hints and Tips section, the technique you would use for the beads you describe (perhaps like a briolette drop for instance?) would be the technique that we call a 'hangman's loop' - also, take a look at my jewellery website as you will see that I use this type of charm drop constantly.   I hope this helps - its just practice, which is best done with base metal wire rather than sterling - using something precious and getting it wrong always makes one much more cross!!  

Kind regards Stephanie  

Hi Stephanie,  

I am putting some pendants on leather cord as wedding favours, I want to finish of the ends some how other than just leaving them plain, I have about 150 to do what is the most cost effective way that will still look good?  

Thank you.   Lara.  

Dear Lara  

The absolute most inexpensive way would be to use some wire, make a coil round the end of the leather and then make a loop with the wire above that - this would give you something to wire your clasp into - on the other hand, the easiest option would be to use cord end caps (to be found on the site) along with clasps etc.   150 is a lot to do - don't do it all at once or your hands will be very very sore.  

Kind regards Stephanie  

Dear Stephanie  

I am now not only a bead addict but also an addict of your website.  I have bought a number of things from you and am very pleased with my purchases.  However I wonder if you could help me with something.  I am trying to string some quite heavy silver foil beads on a 0.5mm waxed cord and used the 2mm cord endcaps that I ordered from you the other day, I glued and crimped them and they seem quite secure but don't look very tidy.  Is the cord too thin or should I be using different endings.  I don't know what to use as the beads I am threading have holes of different sizes.   I would be very grateful if you could give me some expert advice. 

  Many thanks   Deborah  

Dear Deborah  

Thank you for your e-mail.   Yes, the problem is the difference in the size of your stringing material and the size of the cord end-caps - these are usually used with matching size or slightly smaller leather or similar thread, and with thinner thread, crimps are usually used - or even cone ends with multiple strings all funnelling into the same cone and being secured by a crimp - so in effect, this will look untidy because of the different applications normally employed for each material/item you have used.   If you take a look at the website on the Hints and Tips section you'll find help on how to crimp and then to tiny up excess thread - alternatively I can recommend the Sharon Bateman book, Findings and Finishings.  
Hope this helps.  

Kind regards Stephanie  

Good morning Stephanie,  

I would like to try my hand at doing 5 decades catholic rosary beads in semi precious stones and sterling silver wire and chain and I would like to know if the wire and chains that you have are strong enough for this project. I’m afraid I don’t have any experience yet regarding beading and I don’t know whether I should start on something more simple. However I came across your site and found it very interesting, so hopefully I will definitely try something in the future.   Await your reply

Thanks a lot,   Monica  

Dear Monica  

Thank you for your e-mail, it was nice to hear from you.  
I am unsure as to what sort of wear and tear your chains and jewellery will be subject to - and I can only say that the chains we sell are of jewellery quality, which means they are designed for bracelets and necklaces etc - I am unsure as to what other sort of pressures might be applied to your own use that might not be envisioned by the makers of such chains - however, I would suggest it might be your joints (ie, the joins between beads and chain with wire that might let you down before the chain....) but that is just a personal opinion - I would very much suggest that you learn to use the 'hangman's loop' method of joining your chain to your beads with wire as featured in the hints and tips section of the website, as this will strengthen any beadwork/jewellery item.  
I would suggest that you read a good book or two featuring predominantly techniques to start with, and I would particularly recommend the Sharon Bateman book, Findings and Finishings as a good starting point to make any type of beaded jewellery - its a useful resource, though pretty much ALL beadwork/stringing/project books carry basic instructions regardless of the material you wish to employ in making your jewellery.   Findings and Finishings should be back in stock within the next day or so.  
I hope this helps, and that you enjoy any jewellery making you may decide to go ahead with.

  Kind regards Stephanie  



Dear Brian  

I would recommend the Sharon Bateman book, Findings and Finishings as a good starting point to make any type of beaded jewellery - its a useful resource, though pretty much ALL beadwork/stringing/project books carry basic instructions regardless of the material you wish to employ in making your jewellery.   Findings and Finishings should be back in stock within the next day or so.  

Kind regards Stephanie  

Good Evening   I am a maker of Elvis suits, and am looking for a supplier of flat backed beads, can you help?  


Dear Veronica  

Flat backs are not an area that we are involved with as we tend to focus on beads - I know that Swarovski do a huge range and you probably want the type that have 'Hotfix' glue on the back of them so you can fix them on using heat rather than having to stitch them on, though you can also get stitchable items from Swarovski.   Sorry I cannot help much on this one but I hope you are able to find what you are looking for.   Amazing job!!  And not the first time we have been asked!  

Kind regards Stephanie  

I would be grateful if you could give me some idea about the best way to re-string some clear glass faceted beads. They are quite large and heavy and at the moment are strung on a thick white thread with knots between each bead. I would like to use mono filament so that the thread doesn't show. Would this be suitable do you think?   I look forward to your suggestions.    

Many thanks   Ann  

Dear Ann  

Thank you for your e-mail.   I would not advise you use monofilament with your beads due to their weight - monofilament is ok as a practice thread or as something to make an illusion necklace or similar, but really not suitable for your purpose.  I can understand your wanting the thread to be invisible, but to be honest, its very unlikely you will be able to see the stringing once it is done regardless of what you use; take a look on the website for the 'stringing' section as this might make it easier for you to make your selection - something like powerpro might be more in order.  

Kind regards Stephanie  


I've just returned from Kenya where I'm working with and to raise money for streetkids and other disadvantaged children.   One of my plans is to import Kenyan jewellry - items which I've researched a bit and think will sell well in the UK - where I come from and my family are - and France, where I live.   Most of this jewellry is made using the cheapest clasps, which I want to change for a) aesthetics or b) for those, like me, with an allergy to anything but silver or gold.   But since I don't have time to trawl thru your website, is it possible for you to email or post to me any jewellry-making leaflets/advice you have for re-stringing just the ends of these items? If each piece of jewellry has to be completely re-strung, then so be it, but obviously easier/cheaper not to have to.   Also, if I buy a large selection of things from you so I can see them in the flesh, so to speak, can I return anything that I think isn't suitable?   Many thanks for this, and any other help you think you can give.  

Kind regards   Linda Souiljaert  

Dear Linda  

Thank you for your e-mail.   Unfortunately I think you will have to restring the necklaces - its going to be very difficult to just re-do the ends; you will need some sort of stringing (Acculon perhaps, as this is inexpensive), clasps, split rings and crimp beads - as for leaflets - everything we do is online including the hints and tips section, and you should find some useful advice and information in there.    If you buy anything that is not suitable, provided it is returned in as new, resalable condition and in full (i.e., no part packs of beads) then yes, please do return for a refund.   Best of luck with your new venture.   Yours sincerely  

Stephanie Lewis-Cooper  

Dear Stephanie,

well done on having such a lovely and helpful  website I have wasted far too much of today ogling bead addict, when all I really needed was some stretch cord to mend a bracelet! I'm inspired to have a go at a chunky funky necklace, so a few questions: 1. how easy is it to knot the rubber cord? do I know what the hole aperture of the beads are? 3. I am particularly interested in the dichroic beads - will you be replenishing stocks? what is the best cord to thread them on? (I had in mind a thick cord knotted between beads) 4. love the look of that thick rubber cord - what would fit over it?

regards, Jane  

Dear Jane  

Thank you for your e-mail, it was nice to hear from you - apologies for my late reply, I have been away and Mark wanted to wait until I got back before giving an answer.   The rubber cord can be knotted, but you would need to ensure that you aren't pulling and pulling it because it will stretch (and thin) and therefore you'd need to make fairly relaxed knots.   Most beads are a 1mm hole - that is to say, items like Swarovski are.  Pearls have tiny holes, probably 0.5mm, some of the silver beads have larger holes which could be used with the rubber cord, as do some of the dichroics - let me know which beads you are thinking of, which thickness of cord and I can try and put one through the other at this end.   Yes, we will be replenishing the dichroics - we work with a few different makers and some of them just take a long time to make up their items (part of the joy of their being handmade) - we are expecting some fairly soon and then on an ongoing basis - I plan to go on a buying trip in the next month or three and I shall see what I can turn up whilst out doing that.  In terms of what to use to string them on - well - other than something vulnerable like Nymo, Silk Thread or the illusion thread (none of these recommended), pretty much anything can be up for grabs - I have seen some lovely pieces strung on beautiful decorative wool or embroidery threads from sewing shops for interesting effects, perhaps with a serious 'base' wire - something like 'Acculon' which is cheap and cheerful but definitely would be up to the job - its worth keeping your eyes out for unusual threading mediums, or even using wireworking or chain links - as long as it is strong enough to withstand wear and tear and you look after it properly then you should be OK with it.   Hope the above helps - let me know if I can be of further assistance, sorry again for the late reply.  

Kind regards Stephanie  

Hello there   I am looking at making my own jewellery and your website is a mine of information which is great!  I would like to ask though, how I can make necklaces using your sterling silver wire - do I need to solder the ends to jump rings or is there an easier way?  I can see how the leather and suede 'thongs' can be used with the end clasps but can't find much on how to use the silver wire.  If you are able to help that would be great.  Any information at this stage is invaluable!  

Many thanks   Fiona

  Dear Fiona   T

hanks for your e-mail. Mostly, no, you wouldn't need to get into soldering wire - if you look at the hints and tips sections on the website there is a section on how to make a 'hangman's loop' - if you use this technique with a split ring, (which you wind onto the wire or put on before closing the loop on the hangman's loop) then you have a ring with which to attach your clasp - the silver wire tends to be a component of items rather than an entire necklace in itself - take a look at my jewellery website for some ideas - I use a lot of sterling wire in my own jewellery and looking there may give you some ideas.   Hope this helps.

Kind regards Stephanie  

Hi Stephanie,    

I'm currently designing a suncatcher to make as a gift and have a  couple  questions before I place my order and am hoping you can help...    Do all of the Swarovski beads create the rainbow/suncatcher effect?  I assume the foil backed ones and the opaque ones do not, but was  wondering if there are any others that I should avoid (I'm mainly  looking  at the Rondelle, Bicone, Butterfly and side drilled Flowers),  and do I  need to stick to the clear coloured ones, or do the coloured  ones have  the same effect?    I have mainly used silver wrapping with beads in the past to create a  chain, but as I am aiming for a more fluid finish have been thinking  of  using the Beadalon thread and crimps.  Could you please offer some  advice  as to which thread would best best with the Swarovski beads,  and what  tools/crimps I would also need to purchase with this (are  there any books  that are particularly good on this subject?).    I realise I have probably asked some detailed questions, and if its  not  possible to answer them all I understand, but would appreciate  some  guidance if you can.    

Kind regards  Jo

Dear Jo  

Thank you for your e-mail Firstly, thread - you really don't need to go to the expense of using Beadalon on suncatchers - I'd recommend using something like Acculon (and crimps, which you'd need with Beadalon as well) because this will be a more affordable option and really, it isn't necessary for you to use the best thread for something that will hang in a just need something that is durable and strong, so don't use silk or anything like that!  Of course stringing will be faster in comparison to your previous method of working of using wire.  

Swarovski - there is an effect called 'AB' on some of our Swarovski crystal - this translates as 'Aurora Borealis' effect and gives you the rainbow look you are seeking - its a partial coating on the bead that makes the light react differently to that on the uncoated swarovskis - however - all Swarovski crystal without exception gives the most beautiful shine and glow - even the foil backed ones, though the light shines through those differently and they are more 'solid' than the transparent crystal, but if its a rainbow effect you are after, AB's are the ones to look for - a mixture of AB and uncoated Swarovskis are nice - and don't forget you can intersperse the crystal with less expensive beads - for instance rocailles or bugle beads or even Czech glass.  

There are some good basic books, and pretty much all books offer a hints and tips section of how-to's in the front or back...also take a look at OUR hints and tips section on the website as this may be helpful to you - you are basically applying the same techniques to your suncatchers as you would to jewellery making - and the main ingredient is patience.   As for tools - a pair of crimping pliers, cutters, round nosed pliers and flat pliers (and the last few can be raided from a husband or father's garage to start with....) - you'll need crimps to secure the thread, and something to cut the thread with (a pair of old scissors from your home).  

Hope the above is helpful.  

Kind regards Stephanie  


I have a pattern that recommends 6lb Fireline, which I see you sell, but I have heard that it is very hard to cut.  Is there an alternative that is of similar strength that is easier to cut.  I hope you can help.   Look forward to hearing from you.  

Regards   Mrs M P  

Dear Mrs P  

We have not heard that Fireline is particularly hard to cut - hard to break, yes, but certainly you can cut it with scissors conventionally - it is exceptionally strong though (one of its selling points!).  

Hope this helps  

Kind regards Stephanie  

Could you give any tips on how to string pearls and finish/attach the ends to a clasp?  

Dear Nathalie  

Thank you for your order.   With regards to your query about how to string pearls, I am presuming you are referring to using silk thread.  Most people use calottes for the ends of the thread; then it is a case of threading on a pearl, and then making a neat knot or a double knot right against the pearl and so on and so forth - this is the tricky bit, and most people use a needle to guide the knot downwards to ensure a snug fit against the pearl.  It takes practice, it can be frustrating, and it is often not one of those things that just happens straight away.   I personally tend not to use the calottes; I tend to use my own method (hints and tips) where I make a loop with rocailles or sterling beads which I can then thread onto the fittings I use.   Finally, there is also the option of using gimp/bullion/french wire - you thread your silk through and make a loop then knot and then thread on your pearls - this is the most traditional method - its up to you which one you favour.   The point of all these ends to the silk thread is basically to protect the silk and stop it wearing as quickly as it would unprotected - over time silk will stretch, take on bodily oils and perfume, and will need renewing dependent on how often your piece of jewellery is worn - silk is a thread that will not last forever, but it drapes pearls beautifully, and is the expected threading medium for quality pearls.   It can be very very tricky indeed to get the silk to 'behave' but once you do it really is worth the effort.   Hope this helps  

Kind regards Stephanie